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How to use DKIM to Prevent Domain Spoofing

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06 Jan 2021

"Approximately over 3 billion domain spoofing emails are sent every 24 hours."

Email marketing is one of the most commonly used digital marketing platform by marketers all over the world. However, with the world advancing in the field of email marketing, scammers are also using new ways to trick people into believing something that isn't essentially true.

As per a report by the FBI in 2018, domain spoofing resulted in over $12.5 billion in global losses.

Back in the day, email verification and validation wasn't given much importance. Considering the lack of security and verification, scammers exploited this and sent out scam emails via forged emails. This tricked people into believing that these are real emails, making them respond with their critical information.

To prevent the loss of businesses and personal information, Email authentication practices were introduced. These include DKIM (Domain Keys Identified Email), SPF (Sender Policy Framework), and DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication). Email authentication policies prevent spam emails from reaching your inboxes.

To understand this better let's head over to the basics of DKIM and how to use it to prevent domain spoofing.

DKIM: Introduction

DKIM is also referred to as Domain Keys Identified Email. DKIM was first introduced by Yahoo and Cisco. It is essentially a security protocol that is used for the authentication of Email messages.

It is the process of signing an email with a digital signature (cryptographic keys) or a unique domain name identifier; these keys are then stored in a Domain Name System TXT record. Emails signed with a domain name identifier are then verified at the receiving end by checking for the digital signature in the TXT Record.

How To Use DKIM To Prevent Domain Spoofing?

Domain spoofing is a popular technique for sending out phishing emails, DKIM makes it difficult for spammers to spoof emails from your domain.

DKIM is a security protocol that prevents spammers from spoofing your domain and protects your potential clientele against phishing attacks. Not only does it authenticate your email messages, but it also improves the deliverability of your emails and keeps your subscriber list safe.

Sending out authenticated emails develops a certain level of trust with your potential clientele and results in better engagement rates. Moreover, it eliminates any chances of your email messages ending up in the dreadful spam-folder –hence why using DKIM to prevent domain spoofing is essential.

Here are some of the benefits of using DKIM;

Now that we've covered the basics let's move towards how to use DKIM to prevent domain spoofing and understand its working.

How Does DKIM Work?

How To Add A DKIM Record To Your Domain?

Each and every Email Service Provider (ESP) supports DKIM. Setting up DKIM on your domain is relatively easy, no matter what ESP you're using. DKIM uses the same DNS TXT records as SPF.

The first and foremost step that you need to follow is to store your private DKIM key. Now that you've stored your private key add a public key in the DNS records of your domain.

However, to keep your security policies up to date, you need to update your DKIM keys frequently. Moreover, along the process of updating your keys, it is best to discard the old keys and only use the new keys that you've added to your DNS records.

Testing Your Newly Implemented DKIM Protocols

While setting up DKIM might be easy, to determine whether the DKIM that you set up is working, you need to analyze your DKIM records and test them.

Testing is an essential factor when it comes to setting up DKIM on your domain, to ensure you're safe from any malicious attacks that spammers might have planned.

This can be done by using different tools, such as DKIM checker and DKIM analyzer. These are available online and will successfully determine whether you have set up DKIM correctly or not.

As mentioned earlier, setting up DKIM successfully not only serves as an additional layer of security and prevents domain spoofing, but it also improves the deliverability and delivery of your emails.

Key Takeaways:

Conclusion

DKIM is an essential part of email authentication. DKIM is the process of signing outbound emails that are then validated at the receiving server to ensure that the emails received at the recipient's inbox are actually sent from your domain.

It is a security protocol that enables you to use DKIM to prevent domain spoofing and prevent scammers from using your email address for phishing. Moreover, using techniques like DKIM makes your email messages appear more legitimate and encourages better B2C engagement, resulting in the conversion of leads to potential clientele and improved engagement rates.

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